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A Literary Haven for All, Jeju, South Korea

27 December 2008 No Comment

New Halla Library has books in English
Story and photos by Jenie Hahn
Halla Library
The new Halla library | Credit: Jenie Hahn

Are you a book lover? Do you have that insatiable craving where you want to read more books but don’t really have the money or know a place to buy new books in English? Well, here is the best news ever for all English-speaking book lovers out there. A brand new Western style library opened in Jeju-si recently, nestled in a serene forest setting.

Library offers wide range of media

The basement contains mostly books in Korean, with a magazine and newspaper section containing some English-language magazines. You can browse leisurely on comfortable couches. The first floor does not have any books but there is a multimedia room where you can use the internet, reserve a DVD room for up to 10 people, or use an individual carrel for watching the DVD of your selection.

It is the second floor that might hold the most interest for English-language book lovers because this is where the foreign book selection is housed. It is divided into the children’s section and the adult section. The adult section has about six big shelves of books with topics including travel, history, fiction, non-fiction, and general interest. This section is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The library is closed on Wednesdays.

Free wi-fi, cafeteria, exercise equipment also await

The library building itself is impressive enough to begin with but the grounds next to it boasts outdoor exercise equipment as well as picnic tables. There is also a small cafeteria where you can get snacks as well as a substantial meal at a relatively low price, and an observatory deck on the second floor with a majestic view of the area. There is also a rest area with cute red chairs where you can sit and chat with friends. For laptop users, there is also free wi-fi within the library compound.

Basement books | Credit: Jenie Hahn

How to get a Library Card

The new Halla Library is open to all, and getting a card is relatively easy.
To register log in to http://hallalib.jeju.go.kr/. Unfortunately, they are still working on the English-language Web site so you might have to ask someone to help if you don’t know any Korean. Once you register online, they will send an authorization code to your cell phone or email. Bring that number and a recent photo (they can take a photo for you as well) and apply for a library card at the counter on the first floor.

How to borrow and return books

Once you get a library card, just choose whatever books you would like to borrow, put them on the Smart Card table at the checkout counter and it will scan them through. You’re allowed to borrow up to three books at a time for a period of one week. If a book is overdue you will not be allowed to borrow books for the same amount of days that it is late (no fine). You can renew them on line for another week. If you can’t return the books during the regular hours, just return them through the smart machine in the lobby of the library on the first floor.

How to get there

Click on the link to get an idea of the exact location of the library if you have a car and are driving there. http://hallalib.jeju.go.kr/contents/intro/map. The library is on the routes of buses 5 or 8. There is a bus schedule on the library Web site or download it.

General Library
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sat and Sun.: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Multi-media Room
Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Foreign Book Selection
Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The library is closed on Wednesdays

Library Holidays
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day; Lunar New Year Holidays.

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